Join us for the monthly Oratory Lecture Series - one of the many groups offered for the members of the Secular Oratory. Each month one of the Oratory Fathers or Brothers will offer a lecture on Catholic Culture, Theology, History or Spirituality
Presenter: Fr. David Abernethy, CO
TOPIC: “Enter by the Narrow Gate: The Ascetic Podvig of Living in the Modern World"
There are few words as unpopular today as “asceticism” or “mortification.” It seems a strange contradiction that it is so when considering things religious, given the fact that in regards to most every human pursuit it is embraced without question. We forget that Christian asceticism presupposes human asceticism; as is true with the athlete, scholar or anyone who seeks growth and perfection in any field or endeavor of life. Every specific purpose requires some type of asceticism. It belongs to the vitality of human life. Discipline, strictness, exercise - - these we seem to be able to accept without question as necessary to every worldly pursuit, but when it comes to living and exercising our Christian faith, pursuing the path that Christ has called us to walk, we become unabashed minimalists. Again, a strange contradiction; for while asceticism is indeed a human value, it is truer to look upon it as a religious value. In this case, its purpose is deeper, embracing the whole person and not just an aptitude for exercising this or that activity. Thus there is no religion without asceticism and, if such a one should appear to exist, it would be a pseudo religion. The end of such asceticism for the Christian is love and it only has value in relation to love; as a means to arrive at it and as a reflection of its presence in our lives.